The Los Angeles Dodgers 2013 season can be described several ways, but it was arguably one of the greatest turnarounds in baseball history. 30-42 and 9.5 games behind the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Dodgers went on an incredible 42-8 summer run, capturing the baseball world and cementing their status as a World Series contender.
One of the catalysts during the streak was rookie outfielder Yasiel Puig, who was called up on June 3 and turned the baseball world upside down. With his sometimes reckless and flashy style, the 23-year-old outfielder was a love-hate player for many.
In their yearly review, Sports Illustrated ranked two Dodgers moments among their 113 most memorable moments of 2013. Checking in at number 26 was PuigMania:
Exciting or infuriating? Either way, few rookies have captivated the major leagues as quickly as the Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig did in 2013. With a cannon arm and a powerful bat, Puig made an instant impression. His arrival immediately ignited the Dodgers, who turned into NL contenders. After one month in the majors, the 23-year-old phenom nearly did enough to earn an All-Star Game spot — much to some big leaguers’ dismay. And that was a common theme with Puig. His antics and exuberance drew as much attention as his talent. Puig, who was criticized throughout his rookie season for his boisterous style of play, angered Carlos Beltran and the Cardinals in the NLCS. One thing is for sure about Puig: He gets people talking.
With Puig starting everyday, the Dodgers quickly surpassed the Arizona Diamondbacks for first place in the NL West, completing an incredible turnaround and put themselves in a position to clinch the division at Chase Field.
Fearful that the Dodgers celebration could get out of hand, the Diamondbacks requested they stay in the clubhouse once they started their champagne shower. However, several Dodger players didn’t adhere to that request and came back onto the field and proceeded to throw a pool party. SI ranked the pool party as the 44th most memorable moment in 2013:
Not in our house? More like not in our pool. The Dodgers, 9½ games out of first place on June 22, clinched their first NL West title since 2009 with a 7-6 win in Arizona on Sept. 19. But all anybody could talk about was the postgame celebration. The Diamondbacks were miffed after a group of Dodgers players ignored a request by Arizona management and celebrated by jumping into the pool at Chase Field. Even Arizona Sen. John McCain blasted the pool breach. “No-class act by a bunch of overpaid, immature, arrogant, spoiled brats!” McCain tweeted.
The 2013 season was memorable for several reasons, but watching Puig capture the city of Los Angeles with his play and the celebration in the Chase Field pool definitely stick out.
With a full season upcoming in 2014, Dodger fans have a lot to look forward to from Puig and the entire team as they’ll enter next season as World Series favorites.
ICYMI: The Dodgers and J.P. Howell agreed to a two-year deal earlier this week